14 Sep 2004

Vanuatu president reinstates two of the three top officials dismissed yesterday

1:22 pm on 14 September 2004

The president of Vanuatu has reportedly reinstated two of the three officials that the government dismissed yesterday.

The police commissioner, Robert di Niro, was suspended after he allegedly issued orders to arrest the prime minister on contempt charges.

The arrest was later replaced by a summons requiring Serge Vohor to appear in court this Friday.

The commander of the Vanuatu Mobile Force was also dismissed but later reinstated.

And the head of the Police Services Commission, Michael Taun, was also removed and replaced by Francois Lucbaba, who has also reportedly been replaced.

Transparency International's Marie-Noelle Ferrieux Patterson says the no-one is feeling very secure right now.

"The general atmosphere creates a feeling of insecurity on every side now. Because the judiciary, the public prosecutor for weeks has been feeling probably very insecure with the statements of the government. And the government feels insecure, so the whole situation is getting a concern."

Transparency International's Marie-Noelle Ferrieux-Patterson.